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Converging Fates/6

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Chapter Six: Split DecisionsEdit

"Hey," the man said, walking up to Lieutenant Klein. The MP's blocked his path by crossing a couple of M-16's in his path. "What the hell is going on?"

Klein sighed. "Look, sir. This is military business, don't concern yourself with it."

The man furrowed his brow. "SCREW military business. This is my HOME, goddammit! First the explosion this morning, and now THIS?" He turned around and pointed toward the giant robot. "And what the hell is THAT?"

Klein shook his head. "I don't have time for this," he said. "Jeffreys, take care of him."

Private First Class Jeffreys got out of the drivers seat of the humvee and saluted. "Yes sir," he replied.

Klein shook his head. He would be hearing it from his superiors as it is, he didn't need to deal with civilians. He would have his hands full enough. Especially with the... prisoners.

A few of them were being belligerent, but most of them were cooperative.

"Hey," the man from the car yelled. "What's the charge here?" He was being forced up against the hood and cuffed.

Klein didn't care. He'd hear enough from his superiors about allowing the... contraption to be seen by civilians. But he'd definitely get commendations for arresting the offenders.

Walking through the small crowd of arrests and cordoned off areas, he stopped in the center of the road, only a few feet from the craft.

"Now WHAT am I going to do with you?"


"I asked what the charge was! I know my rights!" James said, struggling against the MP.

"You just be quiet," the MP replied.

"Look, honestly! I just drove in to this! I have nothing to do with what's going on!"

"Yeah, well you're in the middle of it now, boy."

James shook his head in frustration as he felt his cheek push up against the hood of his car.


"So, we just let them arrest us?" Asuka asked.

"It's the best way to do things. When we get back to the base or wherever, we can warn them. Hopefully they'll keep that thing out long enough for us to get home," Tifa said, placing her hands in front of her to allow the MP to cuff her with minimal resistance.

"And then what about them?" Terra asked. "Do we let them face this thing by themselves? We used magic and trickery to get away from him before. These people... They don't have that ability."

Tifa narrowed her eyes in thought.

"So what? Just because some of us do, that automatically volunteers us for the mission?"

"Asuka--" Shinji began.

"No! If we had our Eva's, I'd be the first in line to try and help you guys. If this... THING is as dangerous as everyone is going on about."

"She's got a point, you know," Tifa mentioned. "Just because we were all gathered here doesn't mean it's our responsibility to do anything."

Akane looked at the argument forming as the MP cuffed her. Ignoring the MP's. she broke in to the conversation. "What the hell is wrong with you people?"

Tifa and Asuka looked over at Akane.

"That thing called itself the destroyer of worlds. What the HELL do you expect us to do? Sit back in moderate comfort on our own world and hope to God he doesn't decide to visit it next? What about me and Ranma? How can WE live if we go back home, which, for all we really know for sure, is only a few years in the past?"

Asuka remained silent. Tifa just stared as the MP's began to push her.

"She's right," Shinji said. "Asuka and I have nothing for us on our own world. Even if it means having to fight whatever this thing is here, I'd want to stay."

"I would put off going home to Mobliz, no matter how long it is, if it could mean stopping that thing. There HAS to be a way to stop it."

Asuka just stared at the ground. "What can we do? Nothing. We're useless without our Eva's."

"You died, Asuka," Shinji said.

She looked up at him. "What do you mean?"

"You remember having your Eva ripped apart by the other Eva units, right?"

She nodded.

"You were dead. You had died. There was no way you could have survived that."

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying you're dead. And somehow, whether it was Ayanami or me, or... hell.. Even God, you came back."

Asuka kept her eyes narrowed. "Does it look like God is on our side now?"

Shinji threw his arms up. "Isn't it strange, Asuka," he began. "Isn't it strange that you and me, the last surviving human beings on our world, were suddenly brought here. Look at everyone else who was brought here. People who can use MAGIC. Warriors, martial artists! Giant robots! There may be more. There can't be any chance that whatever happened is by chance."

Terra nodded. "There may be a higher force doing this. Whether it's fate, or a god... I can't say."

Tifa once again narrowed her eyes in thought. "There is something to that. She looked up. Akane?"

"Yeah?"

"You were brought here after a battle, right?"

She nodded.

"Was it a dangerous one?"

She nodded again. "I almost died."

"Cloud and I were with a larger group. We fought against a man... A creature... named Sephiroth. We had literally saved our world from destruction before we ended up here."

"Our world had already ended," Shinji said.

"Don't you see it?" Tifa asked. "We're not here by chance. It's impossible."

Asuka lowered her eyes once again to the ground and nodded. Finally, each of them were loaded into a humvee and driven off.


"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to step away from the craft," the MP said to him.

"All right," he said. "Just don't... uhh.. shoot. I'm not in the mood."

The MP gave him a strange look and then walked over to him, ensuring his partner's gun was still pointed at him.

"Fei?" Elly asked. "What about the gear?"

"Don't worry about it," he said. "If the need arises, we can always take it back."

"I'll talk with the CO," the doctor mentioned as the MP put the cuffs on him. "These people won't listen to me, but I think General Leonard may be at the base. He'll listen to me."

"You're sure about that?" Fei asked.

The Doctor nodded.


"What are they saying?" Ranma asked.

"They're going to arrest us. They're telling us not to move," Cloud replied, placing his sword on the ground.

"Any bets that I could take them out before they shot us?" Ranma smirked.

"Us, maybe. But what about the others?" Celes said, following in suit of Cloud's actions.

Locke and Sabin each put down their respective weapons as the MP's walked up to them.

Ranma looked over to see Akane, Tifa and the others being escorted to one of the vehicles. The man from the car followed soon after.

He sneered at the MP, then put his wrists out. The MP grabbed his wrists and twisted them behind Ranma's back to cuff them.

"Jeez," Ranma muttered. "I figured they would figure out I wanted to be cuffed in front."

Ranma did a quick jump and brought his arms out from under his legs.

The MP looked at him in confusion, then just began to push him towards one of the humvee's.

"They better not hurt her," he said, being pushed away from the others. "Cause if they do, they're in for a surprise."


The MP stared at Zelgadis in confusion. "How the hell do we arrest THAT?" he asked.

Zelgadis simply stared back. Looking around a bit, he pushed his wrists out, following in suit of the others.

Another MP blinked. "Why do I get the feeling these guys could take us out at any time they choose?"

"Just arrest them. Follow orders."

Each MP walked towards one of the people. Spying a sword at the waist of Gourry, one MP stopped.

"Hey, put your weapon down," he said.

"Nani?" Gourry replied.

"Huh? Just put the sword on the ground, blondie."

"Nani?" he asked again.

"What the hell is this Nani crap? I'm talking in plain English! Put the sword DOWN!"

"Hey, I don't think he speaks English," another MP said. He walked over to the wide-eyed blonde and pointed at his sword, then towards the ground.

The blonde didn't seem to get it until the rock-thing said something to him. Then he got defensive, and finally pulled his sword out, and put it on the ground.

"Show off," the MP said.


"Gourry, I think they want you to put the sword down," Zelgadis said.

"What? My sword? It's mine!" he said, guarding it from the strangers.

"Gourry, please. I don't think we're much in the position to argue."

Gourry looked at the strangers, and then back at Zelgadis. "Fine," he said. "But I'd better get it back."

"I don't like this," Lina said, scowling.

"Lina, just put up with it for now."

"Why?" she said, ripping her hand away from the MP. "Don't you know I could fry you on the spot?" she yelled at him.

"He can't understand you."

"Why should I--"

"Lina, PLEASE!"

Lina sighed. She looked at the MP, who was already trying to get one of his buddies to help hold her down.

"Fine," she said.


"Sir?" Jeffreys asked, walking up to Klein. "We're ready to go. What do you want to do about the vehicles?"

Klein turned around. "Get a tow for the beater," he said. "And for this thing..." He motioned towards the craft. "Get an open-topped semi. TRY to get this thing loaded up and get it to the base. Keep some MP's posted by it in case any of the locals try to get a closer look."

Jeffreys nodded. "Yes sir. And the captives?"

"Put 'em in the holding cells. But keep em apart."

"There are only four cells, sir."

"Well, then split 'em up as you see fit. I'm going to stick around here," he said.

Jeffreys nodded. "Yes sir."

Looking back up at the craft, Klein sighed. "What a report this is gonna be."


"Roland? What happened? We lost radio contact, and--- What the HELL happened to the car?!" Shelley, the dispatch officer asked as Roland walked into the Garrison PD.

Roland just looked back at the car and shook his head. "We lost Earl."

Shelley paused. "We... what?"

"Earl... He's dead. The Cedar Grove PD are taking care of the problem right now along with John."

"How?"

"Shelley, you wouldn't believe me if I told you. Just... Help me out here, I'm heading up to the Cedar Grove facility. There's something out there. Here's what I need you to do."

Shelley sat down and listened.

"Get the mayor on the phone. I want you to tell him to issue a curfew. I want EVERYONE inside of their homes tonight. If anyone starts showing aggressive tendencies, I want them to RUN."

"What?"

"Look, it's hard to explain. Just tell the mayor that Earl's dead, and I'm dead serious."

Shelley nodded and picked up the phone.

"Oh, and give me the key to the artillery room."


"Look, we need to speak to somebody in charge," Cloud said as he was pulled out of the car. "It's important!"

"Yeah, and so is getting you locked up. You'll have your chance, don't worry," the MP replied.

"But you don't understand! We're ALL in danger!"

"He's telling the truth!" Tifa called from the other car as she herself was escorted out.

The MP's ignored them. The only person they would listen to was Jeffreys, and only because Klein's orders went through him.

"Lieutenant Klein wants them separated. Try to keep them as separated as possible, and stick them in the cells. Let the mingle a bit."


"Hey! Let me outta here!" Lina cried.

"They won't listen to you," Celes muttered. "It's no use."

Lina narrowed her eyes and began to summon a fireball. "I'll make them listen."

"Hey, that's not such a good idea," Tifa said, grabbing Lina's hand.

"And why not?"

"Because there is something coming. And we may need their help."

Lina growled under her breath.


"So," Fei said, trying to make conversation. "What brings you guys here?"

Shinji yawned in the corner while Sabin chuckled.

"What do you think?" he asked. "Probably the same thing as you. Let me guess... You had just finished something important in that giant contraption of yours, and next thing you know, you're in the middle of a crop."

"Actually, over a city."

"Close enough," Ranma said, sitting down for once in who knew how long. The truth was, Ranma was tired. Dead tired. First the endless rest of getting to China, getting his arms bound by that... eggy stuff, fighting off an impossible foe like Saffron, and now he was here.

No rest at all. Right now, all Ranma wanted was a drink and a bite to eat.

Fei shrugged. "Well, I was only asking."

"How long do you think they'll keep us in here?" Shinji asked.

"Hopefully not long. That thing could be here soon," Sabin said, clenching his fist.

Ranma walked over to the bars.

"Hey!" he yelled. "How about some food?"

He turned back to the others. "Honestly, is it so much to ask just to have a snack? Even a drink would be nice."

"There's a sink there," Shinji pointed.

Gourry watched with mild curiousity as Ranma walked over to the metal sink.

"Where the hell are the cups?"

"Who needs cups?" Cabin asked. "Just drink from the tap."

"Yeah, but then I run the risk of... Ah, screw it."

Ranma turned the tap on, then put his face under it. He slowly turned the tap.

Unfortunately for him, the water came out a bit faster and harder than he had expected, flying all over his face, and up his nose. He took his head away and coughed the water out.

"Dammit," he said in annoyance.

He wasn't even paying attention to the several stares he was receiving from the others in the cell.

"Who... what the hell? Ranma?" Sabin asked.

Ranma went back over to the sink and took a drink before showing her face.

"Surprise," she said.

"Hey, neat trick," Gourry said. "Can you do a bunny rabbit?"

Shinji just stared in disbelief while Fei raised one eyebrow.

"Look, it's a long and involved story I'd rather not repeat to the point of annoyance, so we'll just say for now that I turn into a girl with cold water and back to a boy with hot."

Sabin just nodded unsurely. "Good," he said. "Now change back, you're creeping me out."


"So," Cloud said. "How about you three? Where did you come from?"

Zelgadis stood up and looked at Cloud and Locke, who were both leaning against the bars.

"I'm from a place called Seyroon. Needless to say it's a lot better than here."

Cloud looked over towards the other two, who were sitting on the floor nearby. "And you?"

They just stared back, with a blank look.

"I think they speak English," Locke suggested.

"Wait, you can speak their language?" Zelgadis asked.

Cloud nodded.

"Perfect," Zelgadis said, then reached over towards Cloud. "This is a little known trick in Shamanist magic. Let me touch your head."

Cloud walked over to him and allowed Zelgadis to cast the spell, unsure of his intentions, but somehow trusting.

Zelgadis closed his eyes and muttered a few words, then backed away.

"There," he said. "I needed your knowledge of their language to cast that spell. There is an aura surrounding us that will allow us to understand them, and for them to understand us no matter which language we speak."

The two men looked back at them in confusion. "Spell?" they asked in chorus.

Zelgadis nodded. "There. I understand you now."

"Anyway," Cloud muttered. "As I was saying. Where are you two from?"

"Well," the Asian Indian man began. "I'm originally from Vancouver, Canada, but my family comes over from--"

"That's not what I meant... You were born in this world?"

The man nodded.

Cloud turned to the other. "And you?"

"I was born here... But... did you just say 'this world'?"

Cloud nodded.

The man stood up completely, and turned to look at the others. "Then... you all aren't from Earth?" He looked almost excited.

Zelgadis shook his head. "I'm from Seyroon."

The mans eyes widened. "What star is that near?"

Zelgadis blinked. "Star?"

"What about you?" He looked at Locke. "What star are you from?"

"Uhh," Locke began.

"Listen, I'm not sure," Cloud said. "But I'm sure we'll get the answers we want and need soon."

The man scoffed. "Good luck. I've been trying to get answers since the explosion earlier."

Cloud raised his eyebrow. "Explosion?"

"Yeah," he said. "Earlier today there was an explosion at this base."

"How long ago?"

The man sighed. "I don't know... A few hours? Maybe six? What does it matter?"

"Six hours," he looked at Locke and Zelgadis. "I think that may be it."

The Asian Indian man stood up. "Wait, the explosion at this base? That was part of Project Churchill!"

"Project Churchill?" Cloud asked.

The doctor nodded. "I was working at the San Francisco Laboratory for the first long distance test."

"What? What is this?" the man asked.

"For years, the government has been trying to figure out a way to instantaneously transmit objects, supplies, information and even troops from one place to another. Project: Churchill was the first part of that project! We were doing a test about six hours ago, transporting a death row inmate. The project failed miserably because some idiot in our lab send out a feedback loop, causing the explosion here."

"Are you saying that the explosion here was all because of... that?"

The doctor nodded. "But even with the feedback loop, things went haywire. There were patterns in the log, though. Lots of them. I think whatever happened, reached in to your respective worlds and pulled you here."

The man smiled. "So that's why Sarah couldn't tell me."

The Doctor's brow raised skeptically. "You know Dr. Hanson?"

The man nodded. "Her and I go back a ways. We're good friends."

"Do you, now? Where did you meet her?"

"Her and I used to date, actually. I was here when the facility exploded. Actually, I think if I hadn't been here, she'd still be caught under the rubble."

"You were allowed on the base? Are you military?"

He shook his head. "No, I'm a journalist, actually. It's just that when everything happened, they just weren't paying any attention to who was coming on and off the base."

"That's all fine," Cloud said, interrupting them. "But can we get home?"

Locke nodded in agreement, as did Zelgadis.

"We obviously don't belong in this world," Zelgadis said. "The science here is far in advance of our own, yet magic seems nonexistent here. We're interrupting the natural order of things here."

The doctor inhaled in thought. "I suppose we could find some way to apply your genetic make-up to where you belong in the universe. But it's still very... questionable whether we can send you to the right place."

"So, you can send us somewhere, but you're not sure it'll be the right place."

The doctor nodded. "Unless..." he began. "The technology operates on a different quantum frequency. We could, in theory, rig up a device that would act as a homing beacon of sorts. Each of the patterns we recorded, though similar in several ways of genetic make-up, were extremely diverged in quantum patterns. It's as if each of you had your own... well... reality map, really."

Zelgadis soaked all of the information up as the man spoke. Though he could get the gist of what he was saying, the terms he used were foreign.

"I don't know what you just said," Locke muttered. "But what you're saying is that you send all of us on a joyride through these different worlds, and hope we hop on the right one?"

The doctor nodded. "I suppose you could say that."

"If you can do that," Cloud began. "That means you can do the same to the nameless one, right?"

The doctor narrowed his eyes. "Who?"

"On our way here, we ran in to an... entity. He probably got here the same way we did, and that means you can send him out in to null space, right?" Locke continued.

Zelgadis closed his eyes. "The nameless one. I believe I and my group ran in to this entity as well. Although he was wearing a female guise at the time."

Cloud nodded. "He seems to have the ability to infest a human body, to soak up it's emotions and memories, and all of it's abilities."

"Yes," Zelgadis said. "That would fit in with what I had witnessed."

"An entity, you say?" the light-skinned man said. "Capable of using host bodies. How does it travel from body to body? Physical contact?"

Zelgadis shook his head. "No, from what I witnessed, it's my belief that it can turn in to an energy form, and travel across the astral plane to infest the next body."

"Amazing," the man gasped. "A parasitic energy form! This means--"

"Amazing is NOT the word I'd use to describe this thing," Cloud said, frowning. "I've seen what this thing is capable of. We blasted the thing from here to hell and back, and Terra says it's still chasing us."

"Terra?"

"One of the others," Locke said.

"From what I hear," the doctor began. "This... entity... isn't going to allow itself to be studied, if that is what you are getting at, sir. I'm also beginning to suspect you're more than a mere journalist."

The man nodded. "I've got a degree in Xenobiology."

"Oh? Perhaps you know an associate of mine, then. A doctor Jonas Drozer?"

The man smiled. "He was my professor."

"I had thought so."

The conversation was interrupted by a loud grinding from outside. Looking out, they saw the machine.


"God, this is just so... MESSED up!" Asuka yelled out of the cell. "This is supposed to be an American prison! Where are our striped uniforms?!"

Asuka, of course, merely wanted to get out of the embarrassing open-backed hospital gown.

"How thick do you think this wall is?" Akane asked, gesturing towards the brick side wall. She experimentally brought her fist closer and farther away, getting a feel for it.

"If we try to escape, it might give them a reason to try and shoot us," Elly said. "All I want to know is where Fei is, and how we can get home."

Akane nodded in agreement.

"ANYWHERE but here," Asuka said.

"And of the nameless one?" Terra asked, looking out the window. "What of him? He'll be here soon. I can feel him coming ever closer."

"This nameless one," Elly began. "Is he as dangerous as you say?"

Terra nodded. "All that and more."

Elly narrowed her eyes for a moment. "Is it world threatening?"

Terra nodded. "This world, and all of ours."

Sighing, she looked over to her. "You know, you're pretty formal for such a young girl. How old are you?"

Terra smiled. "Thirteen."

Elly nodded and gasped as the loud grinding noise was heard from outside.

"I believe your vessel is here," Terra said, looking out the window.


General Leonard stretched as he stood up from his seat. The plane had landed, and he was now where he needed to be.

"General?" the pilot asked, looking back.

"Yes?"

"Sir, there seems to be something going on. Lieutenant Klein has news."

The General nodded and made his way to the exit, opening the hatch to find the portable stairway already in place.

The Lieutenant was waiting below, a wide grin on his face.

"Sir!" he called out. "Welcome!"

"Klein," the General replied. "Any news?"

"Yes sir," he said, grinning. "We've got seventeen captives, and we've retaken the craft from San Francisco."

The General paused in mid-step. "SEVENTEEN?"

"Yes sir, they're in the holding cells right now."

"Are you bloody DAFT, Klein?"

Klein was taken aback. What was this? Where was his praise? His glory? His.... promotion!"

"Sir?"

"Seventeen captives. SEVENTEEN. There were only two reported from the hospital, perhaps another two from the craft, and six more from eyewitness account. Where the HELL did the other five come from?"

"Well, sir. We found ten of them in a sort of standoff in the street. The other five were involved, so we arrested them."

"God, Klein. If you've arrested any innocent civilians, I'll bust you down to Private, understand?!"

Klein's eyes popped wide open. It took him forever to get up to Lieutenant.

"Take me to them," he said.


"Does it hurt?" Shinji asked.

Ranma raised an eyebrow. "Eh?"

"When you... change. Does it hurt?"

Ranma shook his head. "Nah, just a momentary fuzzy feeling. Like a numbness. Sometimes it's not even noticeable."

"So," Shinji said. "It's been that way your whole life?"

Ranma shook his head. "Nah, only the past year or so."

"Look," Sabin said. "The fact that you can DO that creeps me out enough. Do we have to talk about it?"

"I think it's neat," Gourry said.

"Me too," Shinji continued.

"Me three," Fei muttered, looking out the window at his gear.

As Sabin shook his head and looked off out the hallway, he paused. "Hey guys," he said. "We've got visitors."

The small onslaught of military units walked down the hallway. Among them was the man who arrested them, and a few of his lackeys. Also, what appeared to be the man in charge.

"These are the ones who were arrested?" the big wig asked.

The man who arrested them nodded. "Yes sir, they seem unable to speak English, but--"

"Hey," Gourry said. "I can understand you now! Why couldn't you speak our language before?"

Ranma and Sabin narrowed their eyes, while Shinji looked on in confusion.

"We CAN understand them," Ranma said.

"Good," the big wig said. "Now I hope you can answer a few questions."

"Look," Ranma began. "I got no problem with answering questions, but you've gotta hear us out first. There's something on it's way here right now that's gonna make a nuclear missile look like a harmless puppy."

The big wig raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"Look, whatever happened that had us brought here, brought this thing too. It's gonna come here, kill all of you, and then kill all of us."

"Sir, they must be lying. They didn't speak a word of English before and refused to answer our questions--"

"Hey, we could UNDERSTAND you before," Ranma yelled.

The big wig looked at the man next to him. "Let them out."

"Sir, I must object, they're dangerous. I saw--"

"I don't care WHAT you saw, Klein. If they're telling the truth, then whatever is coming here is a major threat," he said. Looking toward Ranma, he spoke again. "Consider yourself lucky I can tell whether or not a man is lying, boy."

The man named Klein simply wore a scowl on his face and jerked his head in a motion to unlock the cell. The big wig moved on to the next cell.


"Hey!" Lina cried. "Let me outta here! I'll blast you in to kingdom come, ya know!"

"Miss," the man in charge began, trying to calm her down. "I apologize for any inconvenience we've caused you. But before we let you out, we have a question. The man in the other cell told me something was coming--"

"The nameless one!" Tifa yelled. "He'll be here soon, you've GOT to let us out."

Celes merely nodded her agreement.

The man in charge nodded. "Is everyone else a part of this?"

Celes shook her head. "There is a man in the next cell that seems to be a victim of circumstance."

The man furrowed his brow. "A civilian?"

Celes nodded.

The man next to him shut his eyes as if wincing in pain.

"You'll be feeling that one, Klein. Let them out."

Klein jerked his head again.


"Doctor Sandhu? It appears you made it through unscathed," General Leonard said.

The doctor stood up. "Yes, and I must admit, your men have been most inhospitable."

The General looked towards the other man. "And you?"

"Uhh, my names James Lofield, sir. I... uh... just kinda got caught in this."

The General smirked. "And you--what in the nine circles--?!"

Zelgadis got the impression that the man was referring to him. "I'm a chimera," he said.

"A whuh?"

"Chimera, sir. Part human, part golem, and part demon."

"Golem? Demon? What the hell are you saying, sir?"

The man next to him nodded his head. "Sir, his story would seem at least partially true. His arresting officer scraped himself on his arm."

"You know," Cloud said. "You could let us out, and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have. Especially since--"

"I know, I know. The nameless one or something."

Cloud blinked, and then nodded.

"Let 'em out," the General said with a wave of his hand. Wasting no time, he moved to the next cell.


"And YOU four," the man said as he approached the cell.

"It's about damn TIME someone speaks Japanese!" Asuka yelled.

The man paused for a moment. "I'm speaking English."

Akane narrowed her eyes for a second. He WAS speaking English. He was also speaking Japanese. Strange.

"Sir, you must--"

"I'm letting you out, relax. I'm just getting to know your faces," the man said. "If you people are right about this nameless thing, then you're the least threatening of our troubles. Jeez, kid. How old are you?"

Terra blinked for a moment. "Thirteen."

He shook his head and scowled at the man next to him. "Sicko," he muttered. "Let them out. Have them all meet me in the briefing room."


The craft was large. Larger than any craft he had seen in his life span, or those of his native hosts.

As he parked the car alongside the fence to the military compound, he could only stare as the large craft was carried into the base on a wide semi truck. How they had gotten the thing on to the truck was a complete mystery, but one that was solved quickly by the local military.

The shell of the nameless one smiled menacingly. The ones who had hurt him were in there. They had to have been. All other life on that world could be ignored until they were all demolished.

All of them.

Even the three who had surprised him.

Manipulating his shell, he raised it's hand to grip the chain link fence. Above, the concertina wire looked damaging. But he didn't care. This shell had almost met it's level of usefulness. The next shell he took would be better. A trained military man. Perhaps the next shell would last him days, or as long as it took to kill all of the others.

He let his shell smirk, an emotion flowing through him that he was unfamiliar with, but enjoyed the feel of.

Maybe he'll even gain access to some heavy weaponry.

Lifting his shell up, he climbed the fence and climbed through the razor wire. Though his shell had many of its senses dulled, the pain receptors were completely active. The slashes and cuts his shell received caused him to grunt in pain.

Finally finding his way over the fence and on the ground, he examined his shell. The blood was inactive, unwilling to flow from the cuts, but the pain was still there. He could take another host, but there would be distraction.

Oh well, he would soon have his revenge. Taking up a sprint, he made his way across the large grassy field and made his way towards the base, not even paying attention to the landing airplane on the opposite side of the base.


Within a few minutes, they had all been gathered in a large room with a long rectangular table. A seat had been provided for each of them.

"Now," the General began. "Allow me to introduce myself, for all those who don't yet know me." He looked at all the people before him. "My name is General Albert Frederick Leonard of the United States Army. Before I continue, I wonder if you'd all feel free to introduce yourselves. Perhaps a name, and a country or city of origin?"

Many of them looked toward the green haired girl who sat three seats away from him. "It's okay," she said. "Make it quick, and we have enough time."

The first to speak was the man to the right of him. A tall man with blonde hair.

"My name is Cloud Strife," he said. "I come from the city of Nibleheim on my world."

The General narrowed his eyes for a moment, then allowed the next person to speak.

"Ranma Saotome," the young Japanese man thumbed at himself. "From Nerima, Japan."

"I'm Terra Branford... I originally came from the Esper world, but now I live in the village of Mobliz."

"Asuka Sohryu Langley," the flame-haired girl said, smiling now that she had a fresh change of clothes, even if they were military issue. "I'm from Germany, but I've been in Tokyo-3 for the past little while."

"Sabin Roni Figaro, from the kingdom of Figaro."

"Gourry Gabriev, from Seyroon."

"My name is Elhaym Van Houten. You can call me Elly. I was from the floating city of Etrenank, in the Solarian Empire."

"Tifa Lockheart. I'm from Nibleheim, too."

"Zelgadis Greywiers," the golem-man said. "I'm from Seyroon as well."

"I'm Akane. Akane Tendo, from Nerima."

"Celes Chere. I originally came from Vector, the capital of the Empire. Now I'm just wandering, I guess."

"Fei Wong Fong. I... Was from Lahan, but I'm not really sure where I was born."

"Shinji Ikari, I'm from Tokyo-3."

"I'm Lina. Lina Inverse. I don't know or care about this, I just want to get home."

The General frowned. "And where _IS_ home?"

"Seyroon."

"Locke Cole. Treasure hunter and all around nice guy. I was born and raised in the small town of Miranda."

"My name is Doctor Harjeet Sandhu, born in Vancouver, Canada, but operating under a special work visa supplied to me by the United States Army. I was working on Project Churchill until our apparent... ordeal had come through."

The last man to speak meekly raised his head. "Uhh... my name is James Lofield. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. I.. uhh... just kinda stumbled in to this."

The General placed his hands down on the desk. "Good, now that that's over with, we'll skip to the most important part. The rest of my questions can wait until later. About this... nameless one...?"

"He's near," Terra spoke up. "Very near."

"How do you know?"

"I can feel him. It's like a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach."

"Hey, can we get our weapons back if this thing is so close?" Sabin asked.

"Ahh yes, your weapons," the General said taking a look at the paper in front of him. He furrowed his brow as he read the descriptions.

"Klein," he asked, looking towards the man standing nearby. "What the hell is this?" He pointed towards one of the lines on his paper.

"It says 'Big Ass Sword', sir."

The General raised his brow in a questioning nature. A moment later, both went up in shock as the radio squawked in surprise.

"We have a CODE FIVE! Repeat, CODE FIVE! The base has been compromised! We have an officer...down? What the he--"

The General looked down to the radio. "What the hell?"

"He's here," Terra said. The whole room erupted into silence. Even the ones who weren't sure of what was happening.

"What? The nameless one?"

Terra nodded. "I can feel him. He's taken a new host. He's here for us!"

"A new host?"

James stood up. "Look sir, from what I can gather from these people, this 'nameless one' is an energy-based life form, capable of consuming carbon life forms like supper. It's parasitic in nature and can take host vessels. Meaning if this thing is in the base now, we've got to get the HELL out of here."

The General narrowed his eyes, he picked up the radio. "Sierra Five, report."

"Sir," the radio squawked back. "Bravo nine just... We thought he had died, sir. But he's up again and he's shooting at us, sir!"

The General furrowed his brow. "I think we can keep away from him, if what you say is true. Never should have supported this damned project. I can fit all of you in the jet waiting on the runway." He looked towards the group. "Which of you are the pilots of that contraption?"

Fei and Elly stood up.

"You two can pilot that thing?"

They nodded.

"Very well. The rest of you," he said, looking around. "Including you," He pointed towards James. "Load up on to the plane. We'll head south and have our asses in San Francisco before this thing can get to us. I'll have the men on the base take care of it."

"You don't understand, General," Terra said. "This being can't be destroyed by conventional weapons!"

The General narrowed his eyes. "Don't worry about that now. Let's get down south and then worry about fighting this thing."

"Sir," Doctor Sandhu spoke up. "If we can get to the other facility, we may have a chance to take this... entity and send it back to where it came from."

"The San Francisco facility? If this thing makes it past here, do we really want it to make a bee line through heavily populated areas?"

Doctor Sandhu sighed. "There is that, or we could evacuate the entire area between here and San Francisco."

The General sighed. Suddenly, he picked up the radio. "Sierra Five?"

"Sir?" the radio squawked back, the sound of gunfire could be heard in the distance.

"I want you to take the Quebec, Romeo and Tango teams and lure the intruder away from the airstrip through any means necessary."

"Yes, sir!"

"Victor team," the General continued.

"Sir?" The distinct southern drawl could be heard.

"Have your team gather up all the weapons seized in the arrest earlier and bring them to the back entrance. Just drop them there, and assist teams Quebec through Tango."

"Yes, sir!"

"Papa team?"

"Sir?"

"Clear a path for the pilots of the craft. Allow them unconditional access to the craft."

"Yes, sir!"

"Oscar?"

"Yes, sir?"

"Have your team prep the aircraft. Grab the pilot from the mess and lets get this thing going."

"Yessir!"

The General sighed. Now it was time to make the kill.

"Uniform and Whiskey teams?"

"Yes, sir?"

"I want you two to clear a path from the briefing room to the airstrip via the rear entrance."

"Yes sir!"

"Delta team?"

"Yes, sir?"

"Contact the Pentagon. Tell them I'm ordering a completed Echo-Victor-Alpha-Charlie of the entire area between this base and the Facility in San Francisco Tell them of the situation and explain to them fully what is happening. I'll contact them myself once I get on the airplane."

"Sir!"

The General looked up at the others. "Okay," he said. "Time to make some tracks!"

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